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AI: Avoiding the trough of disappointment

AI: Avoiding the trough of disappointment

The list of apparently exciting technologies over the years has not always delivered the productivity and financial gains promised, but is artificial intelligence one of them?

Mass global deployment of “things” as part of the Internet of Things, driverless cars, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, 5G, the metaverse, edge analytics...the list goes on.

If AI is to avoid the same sluggish deployment in the enterprise business field, it will have to go beyond the promises made by leading technology providers.

IT Europa is attending this week’s IT Press Tour in Denver and Silicon Valley, and all the companies on the Tour have an AI development story to tell – it’s now an essential tool to have in any tech company’s marketing toolbox.

At an event hosted at enterprise business software provider BMC, the message around increased automation was clear, which is not surprising, as increased automation in the software industry was being pushed well before anyone had ever heard of ChatGPT and the AI messaging around it.

BMC has plenty of products which, on the face of it, should be AI-optimised. “We are not just an AI-first company, we are an AI-right company,” said Ram Chakravarti , chief technology officer at BMC.

The company’s Helix data processing and management platform is at the centre of most things BMC looks after at enterprises, and AI enhancements to it is a key opportunity for business services growth, as far as the vendor is concerned.

A number of these technology enhancements were laid out at the event, but the holistic considerations cannot be ignored either. In terms of AI, Helix is said to be secure, meets compliance demands, offers data guard rails, and offers automated AI deployment to understaffed IT departments being harried by their boards about potential/impending AI plans.

Chakravarti said: “Our generative AI efforts started in earnest two years ago, well before anyone had heard of ChatGPT.”

Margaret Lee, SVP & GM of digital service and operations management at BMC, said deploying AI for the better at organisations had to involve more ingrained deployments, to make sure the technology was benefiting the staff and the business.

“GenAI can become much more deeply entrenched in company operations. It’s not necessarily about a bot, but about deeply ingrained workflows in the application linked to AI, and not through some toolbar,” said Lee.

Asked whether AI could still end up in the trough of disappointment generally, despite what BMC is offering, Chakravarti said: “I don’t know, it all depends on what the application and service is.

“The joke is, is that you only have to mention AI as part of your financial results and your stock price will go up. Now is the time to really put up or shut up. We have the products that can really be enhanced by AI.”

BMC’s partners are being given a roadmap to allow them to take advantage of the AI opportunity, and to steer clear of that trough.